Corporate Social Responsibility in a Comparative Perspective

Cynthia A. Williams and Ruth V. Aguilera

in The Oxford Handbook of Corporate Social Responsibility

Published in print February 2008 | ISBN: 9780199211593
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191576997 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Business and Management C

Corporate Social Responsibility in a Comparative Perspective

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Comparative studies of corporate social responsibility (CSR) are relatively rare, certainly as contrasted with other related fields, such as comparative corporate governance or comparative corporate law. This is to be expected in a field, such as CSR that is still ‘emergent’. While theoretical perspectives on corporate social performance or stakeholder management have been developed over two decades, it is only in the last decade that businesses have begun to exhibit serious evidence of CSR in their strategic management and stakeholder social reporting. This article goes on to explore how CSR can reflect wider national business and governance systems, such as market structures and rules, institutional norms, and respective responsibilities of governments, corporations and other social actors. A particularly exposed role, most notably for multinational corporations from the global north, is emerging for corporations in developing countries.

Keywords: corporate social responsibility; comparative corporate governance; comparative corporate law; stakeholder management; stakeholder social reporting

Article.  8901 words. 

Subjects: Business Strategy ; International Business

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